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Grafene is a brand new, unique and modern British dining experience just off King Street. Inspired by graphene, the world’s first 2D material first isolated at Manchester University, Paul and Kathryn Roden’s restaurant is their food and drink interpretation of this exciting development in science and technology. They’ve spelt it with an ‘f’ for legal reasons and quite possibly to signify ‘food’. It’s not a spelling mistake.
Paul and Kathryn opened Losehill House, their four star hotel in The Peak District, nearly ten years ago. With their executive chef, Darren Goodwin, the couple hope to bring a little bit of the country to Manchester.
No expense has been spared. The interior is stylish and modern with charcoal washes and splashes of lemon. It’s evocative of industrial Manchester with bold lines and subtle nods towards the worker bee with honeycomb shapes. A central hexagon shaped bar is impressive and welcoming.
Executive chef Darren Goodwin’s menu is modern British, using seasonal produce to maximum effect. Each week a new starter, main and dessert are added to the menu to keep it fresh for repeat customers and to allow new customers to enjoy some of the most popular dishes.
All tastes are catered for. Whether it’s a meat, fish or vegetarian dish you fancy, there’s such a great selection of all three on the menu that you may be spoilt for choice.
Meat lovers should try the signature ribeye. The Cumbrian salt aged beef is outstanding. It comes medium rare to make the most of that lovely fat, and carnivores will delight in the ox cheek and potato terrine also on the plate. With a very stocky jus and smoked Wensleydale custard, this is right up there with the best.
The pastry chef is a bit of a star. Cristina Molteni used to work at The Ritz in Paris and her desserts are really rather special. Kaffir lime posset with crunchy granola, mandarin gel, and mango lemongrass sorbet is light, elegant and divine. Chocolate lovers should go for the chocolate fondant with dark and bittersweet chocolate oozing out of the middle and a zingy mandarin sorbet on the side.
With fine dining not always the easiest to get right, we like the fact that Grafene actually delivers what many others promise – and it’s still early days. Between the bar and the restaurant it manages to produce equally exciting objects of desire, beautifully presented, innovative and fun. But most importantly, with substance to back up all that style.